Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Wednesday (21/05/2014) began swearing in MPs as the country’s fifth Parliament convened for the first time.
MPs took the oath in groups of 10, with the first including President Jacob Zuma, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor.
The next group included Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is widely expected to return to his portfolio when Zuma announces his Cabinet on Sunday, after Tito Mboweni withdrew from the ruling party’s list of MPs.
Zuma will remain an MP for only a few hours before being formally elected president for a second term by members of the National Assembly.
Earlier, hugs, kisses, and handshakes were comfortably exchanged in the Assembly as MPs took their seats before the swearing in ceremony.
Animated conversations took place between ANC MPs – more than 60 percent of whom are returning to the fifth Parliament after the elections.
Some of the ruling party’s MPs walked over to MPs from the so-called new kids on the block – the Economic Freedom Fighters to welcome them to the House for the first time.
Former Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale greeted EFF leader Julius Malema warmly with a handshake and a pat on the back.
Malema, dressed in a red overall and matching hard hat, was flanked by Floyd Shivambu, and other EFF MPs wearing similar outfits.
Earlier, Shivambu said the overalls and hard hats were a deliberate demonstration of the party identifying with the country’s working masses. – Sapa